Everyone is familiar with how popular reality shows, like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, work. A house full of the opposite sex vies for the attention of one lucky male or female in the hope of finding true love. However, from in front of the camera, the experience is quite different from what appears on TV. Jesse Csincsak, winner of season four of The Bachelorette, can attest to that.
During his season, he won the heart of DeAnna Pappas, but the romance between the two quickly fizzled out. In 2010, Csincsak married Ann Lueders, who appeared as a contestant on the thirteenth season of The Bachelor. He says that he went on The Bachelorette because he was open to falling in love. "I was lucky that, even though it didn't work out on the show, I met my beautiful wife because of it. It just wasn't meant to be with DeAnna; I was supposed to be with Ann," he explains.
Not surprisingly, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette couples that tend to work out are the ones who run from Hollywood upon winning, such as Ryan and Trista Sutter and Jason and Molly Mesnick. Staying in the spotlight can truly be the demise of any reality television relationship, and living life constantly under the scrutiny of the media can be trying for even the strongest couple. Even so, that may not be what the minds behind these show have in mind. "The creator of the show, Mike Fleiss, isn't doing it so people can really find love," says the Colorado native. "He's doing it so he can live in a multi-million dollar home and drive a Range Rover. He tries to turn every relationship into his personal piggy bank by cashing in on them."
The show spends a great amount of money on production, so it would make sense that they try to get some of that back by marketing the contestants. According to Csincsak, it's normal for the show to have "three helicopters to shoot one scene - two camera choppers and one that's actually on film." In addition, if a contestant isn't too strong-willed, they can be persuaded by the producers to do things they wouldn't normally do. "Other guys were definitely coached into doing silly things," he says. A lot of what's on the show is to make it just that - a show.
However, Csincsak does believe that love can be found on television if a few things are tweaked. "A real love story will work if it's organic, and for that to happen on television, it would have to be filmed and shown in real time. The producers would need to only plan the logistics and then let the contestants just be themselves," he shares.
He adds that it's difficult to find cast members who are there for the right reasons. Typically, they're only interested in money, fame, and just having fun. "The problem now is everyone wants to go on television to be famous, and reality television personalities are a dime a dozen these days," he says. "You don't get a lot of sincere people being cast for these shows like you did five to seven years ago when it was a new genre."
What most people don't realize, though, is that the production companies are really the ones that receive the great payout and recognition. The company "owns most reality television personalities for a minimum of a year. So, unless it's a game show, the person isn't getting rich off of it. They're turning off their lives and, in a lot of cases, committing career suicide to be on television," says Csincsak. "There is not a lot of upside for most people who go on television, only for a few winners." Within a few months after the finale airs, most people are forgotten and will most likely not keep any fame they might have garnered during the show.
As a former contestant on The Bachelorette, Csincsak offers a few words of advice for the current bachelorette, Desiree Hartsock. "After you find your dude, you should disappear. Don't let anyone bother you. Just do your thing and get to know your man outside of the scope of the cameras and magazines."